YouTube to broadly support the @username handles format

YouTube says creators should look for a notification to arrive over the next month.

Handles and @usernames are common across social media, including on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram and others. But YouTube had only offered limited support for the format — allowing creators to mention channels in video titles and descriptions with the @ symbol, or mention other users in YouTube Live chats, for example. But the @username option was not available in other areas and discussions. Instead, you’d have to reply to another YouTube user’s comment in order to tag them.

With YouTube’s expansion into TikTok’s territory with YouTube Shorts, however, the company now wants to more closely mimic the way the ByteDance-owned video app encourages users to engage in back-and-forth discussions through their short videos and in the resulting discussions and video responses that come about. To work, that requires the use of @usernames — or @handles as YouTube calls them.